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It’s hard to say at this point just how many times the world has ended. We’ve killed it off so often, it’s hard to keep up. Certainly, we have been predicting its demise since we’ve been around.
Depending on whom you believe, it’s apocalypse now, then or tomorrow. These days, the doomsayers tend to be environmentalists as well as religious cranks. Although one can dismiss the latter, not so the former.
The truth is that to deny global warming in 2012 no longer makes sense. The evidence is everywhere around us, like it or not. The effects are already catastrophic. But does that mean the end of life as we know it?
“We’re destroying the planet,” declared journalist, author and Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler. In Toronto to address the 13th annual Ideacity conference, he painted a bleak picture of the Earth’s condition. Running through a checklist, he made it clear we’re in bad shape.
“We’re destroying real wealth — forests, rivers, oceans, biodiversity — for fake wealth,” Weyler argued. “Every organism, including Earth, has its capacity. We’re consuming resources 50 per cent faster than they can be replenished.”
Forget Peak Oil, he said, “We’re at Peak Everything.”
“You can’t cheat nature,” continued Weyler, who calls Prime Minister Stephen Harper “a mad man controlled by the oil industry.”
“There’s very little good news on the environment,” he noted. “We have to learn to live below capacity.”
Author and former Bay Street economist Jeff Rubin agreed. His most recent book, The End of Growth, was published last month.
As he pointed out, the issue isn’t the availability of oil, but the cost of burning it.
“Prices are the message here,” he said. “Prices are the neurotransmitters of the market. Triple-digit oil prices will ration economic activity. If oil prices had stayed at $40 a barrel, all those good folks in Phoenix and Denver would still be living in their sub-prime mortgaged homes. The speed limit of the economy has changed. Yesterday’s bailouts are tomorrow’s cutbacks.”
For the rest of this article, please go to the Toronto Star website: http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1210971–christopher-hume-greenpeace-co-founder-shares-predictions-of-dire-future-at-ideacity-conference